Metal is a medium where production makes all the difference. Scoring Jack Endino ensures you will not come off sounding like some squealing Ibanez & Crate-amp-wielding butt rocker.
The songs on Witchburn's debut This Is How We Slay Our Demons are long, tempered, and play out with a grungy metal sludginess that is reverently '80s' Seattle. The record itself is well executed, and it's evident these kids aren't lacking in the musicianship department. Jamie Nova's vocals, a sonic melding of Anne Wilson and Ronnie James Dio, are the most resonating element of the album and are wisely kept in the forefront of the mix. Her yowl is so fierce, you'd swear she descends upon each show in a chain mail bra straddling a pterodactyl. As Metal with a capital M as she is, I'd love to hear Ms. Nova's vocals applied to varying genres, as she has the power to potentially cross over and break out commercially, a la Grace Potter.
It's evident that Witchburn take what they are doing very seriously, so seriously they fall into some stereotypical metal trappings. Everything about the record is fraught in the literal. If they were to apply just a small element of cheeky humor to their songs about witch hunting and mythical succubi the music would work on many other levels. And oddly, despite being fronted by and having three ladies playing prominent roles in band, there is a locker room stench of testosterone on this record. Still, all in all it's a strong debut and worth checking out if you're a fan of the hard and heavy. MA'CHELL DUMA LAVASSAR